Scicon, best known for its cycling bags, has entered the eyewear market with two pairs of glasses, the Aerotech and Aerocomfort. There's plenty to like about the Aerotech, incuding quality lenses and a frame that offers a secure fit to your face, which, let's be honest, there needs to be for the price.
- Pros: Excellent lens clarity; arms hold secure without applying pressure to your head
- Cons: 'Fenders' restrict visibility; expensive
Similar to the Rudy Project Fotonyk glasses I tested a couple of years back (and still available), the Scicons use silicone 'fenders' at the bottom of the lenses, the argument being that should you crash they will stop the lenses from cutting into your face.
On the Aerotechs they do make it feel like there is a lot of frame going on. It doesn't so much affect vision to the front, but the way they kick up at the edge of the lens does restrict vision out of the side when glancing behind you to check on traffic.
You don't have to ride with them attached, though, and removing them makes a big difference: as half-frame glasses they feel a lot less 'claustrophobic'.
It's good to make the most of the vision offered by the lenses, too, as the clarity is very good, giving a crystal-clear view of what's happening in front of you.
The lens is removable, not that you really need to change it as this option is photochromic – changing from clear to dark quickly without you even noticing. Entering shaded areas after riding in the full sun didn't find them struggling to adapt to the change of light.
As you'd expect, they meet the industry standard UV380 protection rating.
The nose clip is adjustable and replaceable (you get spares in the box) and the arms can also be fettled to add or reduce flexibility for fit on the side of your head, swapping to different 'Switch Clips'.
The frame itself is made from Grilamid TR90, a polyamide that is used pretty universally for sports glasses. It's a great material, being light and robust, so they should stand up to a bit of abuse.
You'd hope they would, too, because at £224 the Aerotechs are quite highly priced against most of the competition.
Those Rudy Project glasses I mentioned earlier were £109.99 when I tested them, and aren't much different in price now. It's quite difficult to see what else the Aerotechs are bringing to the table. Even the expensive Rudy Project Defender Impactx 2, which are also photochromic, are cheaper at £191.99.
Scicon does like to chuck in a few extras to soften the blow, mind. First up is a carbon fibre wrapped case which looks pretty bling, plus you get a neat little keyring screwdriver for tightening the screws in the arms should they come loose. There was also an 8GB memory stick in the case shaped like a Scicon bike box, neat.
Overall, I love the fit of the Scicon Aerotech glasses and the clarity of the lenses, but for the money they don't offer that massive an advantage over others on the market for less.
A great secure fit from the frame and brilliant clarity, but costly for what they are
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Scicon Aerotech sunglasses
Size tested: One
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Scicon says, "Aerotech. Inspired by cycling, triathlon and mtb; designed and developed for intensive use."
For sports use they have a very secure fit and good eye coverage.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The base 7 SCN-XT lens shield UV380 protection provides you with a maximum field of clear, undisturbed vision as well as side protection.
Super light, resistance to flexible, high chemicals and allergy free are some of the distinctive characteristics of our Grilamid® TR90 Polyamide frame.
A unique interchangeable lenses system enables you to effortlessly change lenses for various lighting and weather conditions.
Flexi Fit temples and adjustable tips are coated in thermoplastic elastomer material to ensure that Aerotech is kept secure around your head.
TPE Double-click nose pads guarantee that Aerotech comfortably grips your face.
Active Ventilation achieves unrestricted airflow, reducing fog, due to numerous top panels and lens holes.
Lens Fender system not only offers maximum protection in case of a crash, but can also be removed to create a half-rim lens for an unobstructed view.
Similarly specced glasses can be as little as half the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The photochromic lens reacts to light changes quickly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very good clarity from the lens.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fenders can restrict vision.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are more expensive than the majority of glasses we have tested.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Some good key features, but the price is hard to justify.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.